Dr. Arnold Angelo Mushongi

Dr. Arnold Angelo Mushongi, PhD

Senior Maize Research Breeder, Southern Highlands Agro-ecological Zone of Tanzania based at Agricultural Research, Africa

Arnold Mushongi has a PhD (Plant Breeding with a bias in maize) from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa under the scholarship of the Rockefeller Foundation and an Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). His PhD thesis research was on ‘Genetic studies of secondary traits and yield heterosis in maize under high and low nitrogen conditions, incorporating farmer perceptions and preferences for varieties.’

The traits of interest for his study were, under high and low N conditions: stay-green, leaf chlorophyll concentration, rate of kernel dry-down, effective duration of grain filling period, earliness (calendar physiological maturity), grain yield per se, ear characters (kernel number, ears per plant, health), kernel moisture content at harvest, etc. From 2009 to date, Arnold heads the Tanzania’s biggest Maize Improvement Programme (in terms of activities and geographical coverage) based at ARI-Uyole. It should be worth-noting that maize in Tanzania is synonymous with food security; now the crop is a major source
of income for rural-poor resource farmers who typically produce maize. Dr Mushongi is a conventional maize breeder with additional skills and experience in molecular breeding (from Japan at NIAS and at ILRI-BecA Hub), participatory plant breeding, management of plant genetic resources and biodiversity (from Japan and Addis Ababa University), biometry, environmental impact assessment, phytopathology, ecology, among others.
At ARI-Uyole, Mushongi conducts maintenance breeding, inbred line-hybrid development, population improvement, germplasm management, seed production research, breeder and pre-basic seed production, designing and evaluating hybrid trials.

The germplasm generated and maintained at ARI-Uyole is also used by graduate students in Agriculture for various study objectives. Popular maize hybrids released by the Maize Improvement Programme at ARI-Uyole, include: UH615, UH6303, UHS5210, and UHS5350.